In 2017, the global specialty chemicals market reached a value of $582.3 billion and is predicted to attain $782.2 billion by 2023, witnessing a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2018–2023). The market is growing due to the rising demand for specialty chemicals in emerging economies, expansion of end-user industries, and technological advancements. Also known as performance chemicals, specialty chemicals are used in the manufacturing of industrial and consumer goods, such as electronics, paints, detergents, and petroleum products.
On the basis of type, the specialty chemicals market is primarily divided into adhesives & sealants, plastic additives, paper & textile chemicals, lubricant & oilfield chemicals, specialty coatings, polymer additives, cleaning chemicals, electronic chemicals, food additives, agrochemicals, construction chemicals, and surfactants. Out of these, the market was dominated by the category of agrochemicals during the historical period (2013–2017), with a share of over 14.0% in 2017. The category of electronic chemicals is projected to advance with the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
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When geography is taken into consideration, the highest revenue for the specialty chemicals market was generated by the Asia-Pacific region during the historical period, specifically over 40.0% in 2017. This is due to the rising requirement for chemicals for the protection of crops and the increasing demand for diverse food items in the region. Furthermore, the growing demand for construction chemicals in the region for the development of residential, public, and commercial buildings is also contributing to the surging demand for specialty chemicals.
One of the major factors contributing to the growth of the specialty chemicals market is the rising demand for specialty chemicals in developing countries. The reasons for this are the rising middle-class population and swift industrialization in the fields of cosmetics, agriculture, and food. Countries such as Brazil, China, and India are primarily responsible for the rising consumption of specialty chemicals. For example, India launched the ‘Make in India’ initiative in 2014, which permitted 100% foreign direct investment and delicensed the manufacturing of most chemicals.
The rising penetration of end-use industries is also a key factor that is leading to the growth of the specialty chemicals market. These chemicals are utilized in various industries, such as construction, food & beverage, electronics, and automotive. Several products, including cleaners for paint booths and paint removal chemicals, in the automotive industry make use of specialty chemicals. As the automotive industry, along with other industries, is experiencing significant growth due to the surging demand for automobiles and increasing middle-class population around the world, the requirement for specialty chemicals is also rising.
Technological advancements in the field are also driving the growth of the specialty chemicals market. Due to the rising demand for these chemicals, the research and development investments are increasing and customers are expecting lower prices, which is further leading to the rising focus of producers on finding cheaper and efficient production methods. Material innovation and global megatrends, along with digital discovery, trans-ecosystem collaboration, and improved manufacturing process, are the key factors which are leading to the surging demand for specialty chemicals.
Hence, the growing penetration of end-use industries, increasing demand for specialty chemicals in developing countries, and technological advancements in the field are resulting in the increasing consumption of specialty chemicals.
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